Someone close to you may have a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) personality without either of you knowing. Many people with this trait are unaware and may not even know it exists. This is why it is important to know the signs of an HSP, as it can be difficult to discern without knowing what to look out for.

In the first half of this two-part blog, we’ll discuss the first five signs someone has an HSP personality:

  1. They Get Overwhelmed By Excessive Stimuli

A highly sensitive person often struggles with the number of stimuli they are exposed to. They may become overwhelmed by sounds, smells, and visual cues that others might not notice. In addition, they can be easily affected by people who don’t respect personal boundaries. Such an individual needs a gentle, peaceful environment to thrive and is unlikely to remain in an especially loud, crowded place for very long. It’s important to recognize that the HSP’s need for sensory moderation is a key part of their personality.

  1. They Notice the Tiniest Details

Highly sensitive people possess an almost superhuman aptitude for picking up on the slightest subtleties in their environment. They appear to be paying close attention to their surroundings, searching for any minute discrepancies or abnormalities. In reality, they are no more alert than the average person, but their keen eye for detail allows them to pinpoint things many overlook. This remarkable capacity to detect the minutest of clues is comparable to the most renowned detectives of fiction—HSPs can make deductions from these clues that regular people would not even consider.

  1. They Hear or See Things You Don’t

People with highly sensitive personalities tend to have much more acute senses than the average person. They may catch things that go unnoticed by others, like a strange noise or an unusual smell. Even if you don’t notice it right away, they will. If you’re initially skeptical, you may eventually find that they were right all along. They have a heightened awareness and can surprise you with what they can hear, smell, or see.

  1. They Feel Pain More Intensely

When a highly sensitive person experiences some form of distress, their reaction will likely be more pronounced than most. This is because they are wired to be more acutely aware of their environment and thus are affected more deeply by discomfort or hurt. They may be taken aback by the fact that other people don’t experience the same level of pain they do, but it is important to remember that their reactions are genuine and should not be minimized. The HSP personality has a unique and valid response to pain and should be treated with the compassion and understanding they deserve.

  1. They Have Food Aversions

Highly sensitive people tend to have very picky palates. They may really enjoy certain flavors and be very opposed to others, such as sour or bitter. As a result, they may come off as picky eaters when trying new dishes. However, with knowledge of their preferences, they can prepare meals they will enjoy. Importantly, this avoidance of certain flavors is a common characteristic of highly sensitive people.


Being highly sensitive is a trait that can be found in many people and manifest in various ways. People with an HSP personality often experience greater sensitivity to physical and emotional stimuli and a greater intensity of emotions. They may also be more perceptive and intuitive and have a greater capacity for empathy. Part 2 of this blog will focus on five other signs of an HSP personality.

Riverbend Life Strategies provides coaching and counseling for the sensitive soul. Our therapy options include Sandtray Therapy, EMDR, Art, Play, and Mindfulness, among many others. If you want to undergo a highly sensitive person test in St. Joseph, MO, get in touch with us. Schedule a virtual or in-person appointment today.